Using Google Advanced Search

Another powerful search technique is to use the advanced search options of a search engine such as Google as this will include any pdfs and, it seems, images that are on the website that are accessible by a visitor to the website (but not any pdfs only accessible to members which Google may not index)

Like most software that is powerful it takes time to master. To try it out follow the steps below: Click here to open the Google advanced search page in a separate tab or page. There are a lot of options but the simplest way to search the BAHS website is to follow the steps below.

  1. Open Google’s advanced search page in a new window or tab by clicking here.
  2. To restrict the search to the BAHS website in the field ‘site or domain:‘ enter
  3. In the field ‘this exact word or phrase:‘ enter the search term you are searching for, e.g. Innkeepers and Blacksmiths of Blakeney. Whilst this search term contains a long phrase it is better to start with a shorter search term when performing your own search. Searching may lead to confusing results so it is best to experiment initially to get a feel for how it works.
  4. Now click on the button ‘Advanced Search‘ and view the results.

Naturally, getting the most out of the Google advanced search option requires a study of the options available and trying them using search terms for which you have a good idea of the results expected (as the example search above Innkeepers and Blacksmiths of Blakeney did). Whilst the above description focuses on this website the technique applies to the searching of any website.

Some pdfs may have been created using images where words appear. If doing a search on such a pdf in Adobe Acrobat it would not find the text (as it nor represented as characters in the pdf). Search engines like Google now seem to be able to recognise words in these images although it is unlikely to be 100% successful. With the above search Google does find some images containing the search term.

In part, the steps above introduce you to google’s advanced search page whilst only making use of one of the features – the ability to restrict a search to a specific website. This can be done in a normal google search by using the keyword site:.  Just entering the search: “Innkeepers and Blacksmiths of Blakeney”

will restrict the search to the bahs website and the words in the speech marks must appear together in that order on the bahs web pages that are returned as part of the search result.

Enterng the search: Innkeepers and Blacksmiths of Blakeney

Is less restrictive. The web pages  returned will return bahs web pages with those words on them but not necessarily in that order.